Had a talk with Susan today and started getting all excited about ideas for new designs for next year.
I'm thinking about a cardigan trimmed with a series of dropped stitches side by side, caught up and twisted -- sort of inside-out hairpin-lace style, with the twist incorporating a novelty or ribbon yarn as its vertical element. Can't really imagine what it will look like, but it will be fun playing around with the idea. Who knows where it will lead. Right now I'm pretty psyched to do some designing in wool, but I know I need to come up with a few ideas for new cotton sweaters for next year, too.
Looking forward to setting up my knitting studio. I'm setting up a couple of standard gauge machines, one with a ribber, and a couple of bulky weight machines, again one with a ribber. I could also set up a machine with an automatic carriage on it to knit for me while I work on one of the other machines. It can't get set up quickly enough; I have four special orders in the back of my car and I also brought home some wool to make a few hats (after realizing that we only had TWO wool hats in stock and all the
knitters were already booked).
I got a bag of Zara, from Tahki/Stacy Charles (100% merino) to work with & evaluate in an attempt to replace the Jo Sharp wool. It is really nice, very soft, pretty nice to work with (it splits more than I like, but it feels great). I was concerned that it was a little too fine to fit the niche I wanted; I thought it leaned a little too much toward a sport gauge, but in working with it I find it is very versatile, producing a nice sport gauge while also able to support a worsted or maybe even an aran gauge as well. I crocheted a hat, scarf and mittens with it on an E hook, but right now I am knitting a seed stitch scarf on a 5.00 mm needle and it would do very well as a sweater fabric. So that just leaves the hand; it is very soft, which makes me wonder how much it would pill. I was just wanting that dense, round, firm feel of the Jo Sharp -- yarn with some heft to it. I think I will keep looking, but the Zara is a very good candidate if I can't find what I want. Heh, I still haven't found a good replacement for Florica, and how many years has that been? Oh well. The yarns, they come and they go. I won't even bring up my search for the Holy Grail: the cotton yarn I want for sweater production.